It’s that time of year again, my friends: long nights, cold weather, and a desire for cozying up. It’s the perfect time to enter your creative cave. What does that mean?
To me, it means following the impulse to go inward at this dark time of year. It means embracing it, and leaning in, and seeing what creations emerge. It’s kind of like an upgraded hibernation for creatives.
There are useful tools you can take with you into the creative cave, ones that inspire, nurture, and comfort you. Yes, things like notebooks, pens, fuzzy blankets, hot cocoa, and art supplies are great, but you can also bring along tools from those who have more experience with creative flow and have crafted fun ways to share it with you.
During a recent Faerie Goddessmother mentoring call (yes, that’s really a thing), I discovered that part of what holds me back from having a wider impact and audience is my deep desire for inclusivity. While I need to charge money for my writing coaching – it is a business, after all, and my full-time livelihood – I don’t want to exclude those who can’t afford my services. I’ve felt it before, that desire to get support and do something exciting, but being limited due to lack of funds. It sucks.
I was inspired to create this post as an offering to those who want to go deep into the Creative Cave, but need a bit of support or some new tools – without having to pay (much or at all).
Some of these offerings do require you to sign up for the provider’s email list. That might make you worry about cluttering up your virtual inbox. A life hack, in case you don’t know yet: when you’re done downloading your complimentary resource or want to reduce the number of emails you receive, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link which is conveniently provided at the bottom of the email. Easy-peasy!
Without further ado, and in no particular order, let’s dive in:
Are you an empath or sensitive soul? Does this impact how comfortable you feel sharing your creativity, or even making space for it in your own life? My friend and colleague (and Faerie Godmother mentor) Jennifer Elizabeth Moore has a delightful offering. Join her Empathic Mastery Circle and begin to reclaim your own energy field, for real.
One of my clients recently mentioned a valuable insight she’d gotten from listening to author Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast. I love all of Liz Gilbert’s writing, including her book Big Magic, but I didn’t realize she’d done a podcast. You can find lots of creative inspiration in her Magic Lessons episodes.
Another favorite author and blogger, Susannah Conway, offers a process to wrap up each calendar year and prepare for the new year. I do this every winter, and love it. Her prompts are deep and juicy and her designs beautiful. Get your copy of the Unravel Your Year workbook.
Susannah Conway recommended a planner from one of her writing colleagues, and I trust her recommendation enough to pass it along to you. It’s called the Your Writing Year 2024 planner.
My partner Brent and I offer a fun way to get ready for the new year: our 4th annual Vision Board PlayShop. It’s such fun to craft vision boards in community, from the comfort of your own cozy cave. Also, I’ve been hearing from readers that my new book, The Elements of Creativity, is a useful guide to have by your side.
You might say that cultivating a yoga practice isn’t especially creative, but I find that it helps me get centered and ready to create. Many of us creatives live in our heads a lot of the time. It’s super valuable to begin (or return to) listening to your body regularly. I’ve been doing yoga every day this year, mostly through the (excellent) Yoga with Adriene channel, and it’s been a powerful way to support my writing and other projects.
Another creative person I’ve been following for years is Leonie Dawson. She has a whole page of no-cost offerings, and there are many gems to take into your creative cave. Some of my favorites include her My Ocean Retreat Journal, the Things I Need to Thrive worksheet, the Creating a Mini-Retreat e-book, and her You Have Permission guided meditation. These are just a few of the items on her long list, with a variety of topics. Oh, and if you want to try a low-cost offering from Leonie, her My Brilliant Year goal workbooks are fantastic.
This random writing prompt generator, called Writer Igniter, is super fun, especially if you’re writing fiction. It’s the creation of author and writing coach Gabriela Pereira and her team. I also highly recommend her book, DIY MFA.
Need a bit of help with the whole idea of self-care and nurturing yourself? Want it delivered with colorful, adorable artwork? Check out The Self-Love Rainbow, which is the creation of author and artist Dominee Calderon. I have her brand-new workbook and I’m loving it.
I know I’ve mentioned The Energy Almanac by astrologer and artist Tam Veilleux and her team. I love this product so much that I’m an affiliate (which just means that I get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to buy using my link). It’s a valuable guide, with weekly and monthly wisdom based on what’s happening in the cosmos. I keep mine handy throughout the year.
There’s a very cool, delightfully conscious organization in Canada called Firefly Creative Writing, and I love their Life Cycle of Creative Projects. It also contains lots of links to other resources you can take into your cave – bonus! They also offer a useful list of resources for Decolonizing the Writing World.
I talk a lot about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which takes place in November each year. But they also have other, year-round offerings that are valuable – and since they’re a nonprofit organization, they’re offered at no cost! Check out the Writer’s Resources tab on their website.
Here are a couple of my own no-cost offerings that you might not know about yet. If you’re wanting to write a book but aren’t sure how to begin, get your copy of Write the Damn Book! Your Free Guide to Getting Started. Do you want to try some channeled writing? I’ve created this short video training to help you get started.
I’ve found that when I try other forms of creativity, especially when I do so playfully, it feeds my writing (which is my main creative love). One of my favorite things to play with is art. The artist Marney K. Makridakis created Artella Land, where she has workshops, books, and other offerings. I’ve taken some of her workshops and they’re wonderful. There’s also a fun quiz! Check it out right here.
Are you tired of the lack of money holding you back? It’s sort of a catch-22 solving prosperity issues and upleveling your finances, because most of the courses cost a LOT. I just joined a program, My Million Dollar Experiment, which starts in January, runs for the whole year, and is only $25. Total. That’s it. I haven’t worked with the person running it directly, Joanna Hunter, but she comes highly recommended by close friends in the biz sister community. So I thought I’d pass the info along. Also, you can become an affiliate and make back your $25 if 2 people join, which is what I did. It’s a self-led course with a FB group and looks like it’ll be super helpful. No pressure at all to join, but if you want to check it out, here’s the link. Let me know if you decide to join – it’ll be fun to play along together and compare notes!
I hope this list of no-cost and low-cost resources comes in handy for you this winter. Enjoy your time in the creative cave.
Sending you big sparkly blessings!